Jack Saturday's The World Owes You a Living is like the wonderful audio montage artistry of a Firesign Theater or a Ken Nordine, but with a discernable political point. Highly recommended.
James J. Hughes PhD,
producer, Changesurfer Radio;
Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET)
"I have listened to The World Owes You a Living
over and over again. The CDs deftly strip away the many layers of brittle toxic and dangerous lies told to us about the nature of work. The hundreds of clips of interviews, news stories and commentary are arranged in a way that the CDs are a pleasure and not an effort to listen to. Anyone who wants to know why society is f…ked should check these out. If you can’t afford to buy them for yourself, find some friends to share the cost or ask your local library to buy them."
Founding member of Livable Income For Everyone (LIFE) society and coordinator of the Victoria Status of Women Action Group.
Thank you to the above, and to all who bought and celebrated these CDs, from tenured PhD's to Welfare recipients to nurses to activists to students. Thanks to New American Radio (New York), CFUV, CFRO and Canada's ten campus stations. Now we relieve ourselves from promotion and marketing. Now the many years of gathering and organizing this associational documentary is offered as a tribute to the gift economy and the end of wage-slavery. Blessings to all.
(Episodes 7 and 8, "Happiness" and "The Great Work" are Avalons to the main body of the series, or Happy Isles off its shore)
The World Owes You A Living
in 6 episodes, plus 2
ecently I heard an interview with a writer who warned us that if terrorists struck certain "nodal points" in the US power grid or water systems, damage could be maximal.
In researching the problem of poverty in a world of plenty, I finally stopped to examine "the work ethic as we have known it," and found in it a "nodal point" of interconnections as dense and variegated as the tenacious convolvulus in my landlady's front yard-- and as hidden as its rhizomatic roots.
Growing up in blue-collar small towns in Canada, holding various jobs in city and country, it was perfectly obvious to me, and repeatedly expressed, how much most fellow workers hated their jobs. At the same time, when the conversation lifted from the personal to the political or philosophical, the "work ethic as we have known it" was suddenly supported by the most unexamined cliché rhetoric. It was assumed. It was unquestioned. It was unconscious.
The devil is in the self-evidence. Tracing this apparent contradiction led to less articulated zones of inverted values: a constant but indirect pride in suffering (sacrifice), and indeed a competition in suffering, especially among the wives. Along with this, in males there was (promoted and sustained by all entertainment media) a love of violence, with its endless parade of violent heroes to out-violence the violent villains. The "goodness" in this violence was that it was revenge promoted as justice.
Archaic religious values lurked largely in these obscure zones, and reading through books, which served as flashlights (torches) through these dark caves, I came across the mouldy skeletons of John Calvin and John Knox. But not before a tour of the first Industrial Revolution, and the 19th century brutal "moralizing of the proletariat" during the time of Dickens. Ralph Waldo Emerson then wrote of "the habit of a realist to find things the reverse of their appearance." This realist recognized the obvious de
moralizing of the proletariat, which has sustained down the generations. To thicken the plot along these lines, this demoralization is covered up by "denial" in the form of "pride." "Pride In Work" is the name of a shameful workfare program in the US.
As indicated, to ponder motives, I dived (sounded!) from the horizontal/historical quest downward into various models of psychology, finding there a tremendous world (our own) where actions and motives are as inside-out and backward as the world of Alice's looking glass-- "denial," "projection," the "Repetition Compulsion," "Ressentiment," the "Fantasy Bond"-all valuable pictures of the strange behaviour of the animal who has invented, created, and profoundly denied the Horn of Plenty.
In attempting to unearth and limn the "work ethic as we have known it," I isolated and tagged no less than 36 themes. Following the cue of Narrative Psychology, Jesus, Scheherazade, and other great figures who taught through stories, and the expert on the radio who stated that 8% of people in the West read any book after high school, I decided to gather anecdotal (and some scholarly) material presented in oral modes. I chose to fish mostly the great pond of daytime radio, specifically CBC1, my country's Public Broadcaster, because it seemed to me there was a lot of good stuff there going unheard because people were at work.
Furthermore, assessing the modern or post-modern psyche as preferring bite (byte) sized information, I fished for key lines and seminal clips with potent valences. It took 20 years to land enough of these to assemble and compose an Associational Documentary which illuminates/reveals all 36 themes of this incredible rhizome, the resplendent garment of our emperor. Of course he is naked, the listener says. Of course he always has been.